DVIDS – News – I Am Navy Medicine – and Certified Registered Anesthesiologist – Lt. Jason Balazs

Whether pre-operative, intra-operative or post-operative for any surgery or procedure in Naval Hospital Bremerton’s main operating room, Lt. Jason Balazs is easy to locate.

As a certified registered nurse anesthetist, Balazs provides constant critical care to any patient in need.

Such expertise and attention to detail by him, as well as other certified registered nurse anesthetists, is recognized by National CRNA Week, 22-28. January 2023. The annual event was originally established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists to recognize the anesthesia profession’s long history and continued record of patient safety.

CRNAs like Balazs provide critical care services such as reviewing a patient’s medical history and anesthesia for that patient before the surgery/procedure, monitoring the patient’s vitals during the surgery/procedure, and afterward overseeing the patient’s recovery from anesthesia and helping to provide additional mail – operative care.

But from Balaz’s perspective, his primary responsibility is to maintain mission readiness by providing the best anesthesia care possible for a surgery/procedure, whether it’s at a stateside military treatment facility like NHB or assigned to a forward-deployed medical unit on a US Navy nuclear aircraft carrier .

“The CRNA is an integral part of the team in the operating room. We are not only a provider, but we are also the patient’s advocate. With our extensive knowledge of anaesthesia, we are masters at the bedside. We ensure that the correct level and depth of anesthesia is met for the procedure as well as maintaining the patient’s hemodynamics [blood flow]all while ensuring the patient is safe throughout the procedure,” said Balazs.

For Balazs, his current role as NHB’s Division Chief of Anesthesiology and Pain Services is defined by a career totaling 33 years, which predates his own service in Navy Medicine.

“As a young man, I was always fascinated by medicine and my goal was to become a doctor. But at the time I entered the service, I don’t think I had the discipline or money to go to college to chase my dreams ,” said Balazs, a Pueblo, Colo. native, Centennial High School 1990 graduate, with a Bachelor of Science degree from American Military University in 2010, Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Colorado State University in 2013 and his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Uniformed University of the Health Sciences in 2020.

Balazs was born in 1972. Both his parents worked just to make ends meet.

“We didn’t have money to buy things that others had. As children we learned to make do with what we had. I would go around collecting soda bottles to return to the store or take my snow shovel and go door to door to earn money and help my family,” Balazs shared. “After finishing high school, I was asked by a friend if I wanted to join the navy. Without a second I agreed to go.”

He jumped at the opportunity to become a hospital corpsman, which led to him spending nearly 23 years with the Marine Corps as a field medical corpsman, culminating as the senior enlisted leader of the 3rd Marines. It was then that he considered retirement before deciding to look into the Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program to become a Navy Nurse Corps officer.

“It was a new and exciting adventure, I felt it was just what I needed. I applied and was selected my first time,” said Balazs, who finally decided to become a CRNA among the many nursing specialties — there are 17 in the nursing corps — offered. “To say it was difficult is an understatement. It is one of the most rigorous programs I have ever experienced, but it is the most rewarding. The education and advanced hands-on training received is by far the best. ”

His career in Navy Medicine has taken him around the world to many places that many other travelers would never experience.

“I have deployed with the Marines to the Middle East, Somalia and Europe to provide health care to both our active duty troops and the local population,” Balazs said.

Balazs testifies that the best part of his career is being a CRNA.

“[and] To be able to mentor junior corpsman and pass on the knowledge that I have been blessed to receive,” he said. “Having been in the Navy for most of my life, I know nothing more than being a part of something. Always helping your shipmates as well as your subordinates has been a motto that I have instilled in me. I am always a person who is approachable and will answer any question.”

“There is one point I share with our young corpsman here, and that is not to wait like I did to apply for a Navy program like MECP,” Balazs added.

He also confirms that there are a few benefits that come with being a CRNA.

“The first thing is the monetary aspect. CRNAs have one of the highest bonuses in the Nurse Corps. Second, the amount of autonomy you have in performing your anesthesia is amazing. Third, you can as one of the most trained nurse corps specialties teach others about medicine, anatomy and physiology,” Balazs said.

When asked to sum up his experience with Navy Medicine in one sentence, Balazs replied, “Navy Medicine has made me who I am today.”

Date Taken:25.01.2023
Issued date:25.01.2023 12:45
Story ID:437207

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DVIDS – News – I Am Navy Medicine – and Certified Registered Anesthesiologist – Lt. Jason Balazs

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